The Southern African Editors’ Forum (SAEF) has challenged journalist to hold leaders in their respective countries accountable as a way of defending their countries.
In a statement issued by SAEF following the arrest of editor-in-chief of Zambia’s The Post, Fred M’membe and two journalists for publishing a story on a corruption investigation against President Edgar Lungu’s Political Adviser, Kaizer Zulu.
M’membe who is founder, owner and Editor-in-Chief of The Post was arrested last week Thursday (16 July 2015) together with journalist Mukosha Funga and charged with publishing classified information under the State Security Act. The two spent a night in jail and were only granted bail on Friday 17 July 2015.
A third journalist, Kombe Mataka, was merely questioned by Police and released because of her pregnancy.
The charges relate to a story published by The Post in the April 2015 edition quoting a confidential letter
According SAEF arresting of M’membe was violation of human rights.
“This should not be allowed to happen in any democracy and we call on the citizens, civic organisations and media in this region to hold their leaders accountable to their respective country constitutions which they swore to defend when taking up office.
“Freedom of media and freedom of expression are constitutional rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights and they should be respected as such.” Businessmail/Zambia